Sergio Ramos
PSG's Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the French Super Cup final soccer match between Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, July 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Spain Legend Sergio Ramos Retires From International Football

Arguably Spain’s greatest-ever defender decided to hang up his cleats today. Sergio Ramos has retired from international soccer, per a statement released by the Real Madrid legend.

“The time has come. Time for me to say goodbye to the Spain national team,” said Ramos. “This morning, I received a call from the current head coach who informed me that I am not and will not be part of his plans, regardless of how I perform or what I do in my career. With a heavy heart, it’s the end of the road that I hoped would stretch out further and which would end with a better taste in my mouth.”

“I honestly believe that this journey deserved to end at my own choosing or because my performances were not at a level worthy of our national team. Because age in itself is not a virtue or a defect; it’s just a number that is not necessarily related to performance or ability. I admire and envy players like Modric, Messi and Pepe. Unfortunately, it won’t be like that for me because football isn’t always fair and football is never just football.”

“I come away with unforgettable memories, all the titles we’ve fought for and celebrated together and the tremendous pride I feel as the most capped Spanish international of all time. This badge, this shirt and these fans, all of you, have made me happy. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who believed in me!”

“Head coach” references new Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente. de la Fuente replaces Luis Enrique, who was fired following Spain’s disastrous World Cup run. Enrique had left Ramos out of Spain’s squad for Qatar. It appears de la Fuente will also exclude Ramos from future squads.

Legacy Left By Sergio Ramos

Ramos retires from international football having left a lasting impact. He is Spain’s most capped player with 180 international appearances.

The defender first appeared for Spain in March 2005 as a right back. By 2006 Ramos was a crucial part of Spain’s lineup, featuring regularly from the wider defensive position. Ramos famously was a part of Spain’s historic 2008-2012 run, during which the squad won two European Championships and a World Cup.

The Spaniard also had a prominent club career. Ramos first appeared for La Liga club Sevilla in 2003. The following season saw his rise to prominence, with the defender appearing 31 times for Sevilla.

In August, 2005, Ramos transferred to Real Madrid in a €27 million move. Ramos had a spectacular Madrid career, appearing 671 times for the La Liga club. While at Madrid, he won La Liga five times, as well as four Champions Leagues and four Club World Cups.

July 2021 saw the defender transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Ramos’s reception in France has been lukewarm, as he hasn’t wowed but did help PSG win last year’s Ligue 1 title.

About Connor O'Bryan

Connor O'Bryan is a world soccer reporter for ESPN Gainesville. He also sometimes covers baseball and other sports. He has previously written for WUFT Gainesville and for Atrium Magazine. Connor also cohosts the "Off The Bar Podcast", a student driven podcast that focuses on the global soccer landscape.

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